ENCORE!!


Most of the older religious Orders—the Benedictines, Dominicans, Carmelites, etc.—again celebrate the feast of All Saints and All Souls a week or so after the Church does, this time celebrating and remembering our Brothers and Sisters who have gone before us.

November 7th we celebrate and give thanks to God for the holiness of our Brothers and Sisters, those we knew and lived with and the thousands who will never be canonized yet gave their all to God as Dominicans, praising, blessing and preaching.

For nearly 800 years the Order has handed down this wonderful story told by Sr. Cecilia, one of the first nuns at Rome:

St Dominic returned to his prayers, and was caught up in spirit from where he was standing to the throne of God, and there he beheld our Lord, and the Blessed Virgin sitting on his right hand, whilst she appeared to our holy father to be wearing a mantle of deep blue colour. As he gazed round he saw religious men of every Order in the Church standing in God's presence, but not one of his own family, so he began to weep bitterly and would not presume to come near our Lord and his holy mother. Thereupon she made a sign with her hand for him to draw nigh, but still he did not dare to do so until our Lord also beckoned to him; then he came up and threw himself down before them, weeping as if his heart would break. Then Christ bade him arise, and asked him gently: 'Why weepest thou thus sorrowfully?' 'I am grieving,' said St Dominic, 'because I see here members of every religious Order, but of my own not one.' Then our Lord said: 'And would you see your Order?' To this the saint answered trembling: 'Yes, Lord, of a surety I would.' Placing his hand lovingly on the Blessed Virgin's shoulder, Christ replied: 'I have given over your Order to my mother's care.' At this the Blessed Virgin drew back her mantle, and opening it wide before St Dominic, it seemed to enclose nearly the whole of that heavenly country, so vast was it, and beneath it he saw a great host of his brethren. Casting himself down, St Dominic returned right hearty thanks to Christ and his holy mother; soon the vision passed away, and once again regaining his natural consciousness he rang the bell for matins. When the morning office was over he summoned the brethren to the chapter-house, and there spoke to them with burning words, exhorting them to love and reverence ever the blessed Virgin, and amongst the rest he told them of his vision.

All I can say is, "PHEW!"